“6 Days” is a new piece stemming from a collaboration of master machinima maker Joshua Diltz and artist-provocateur Joseph DeLappe, two people whose work I have long admired.
Here is the introduction provided by Joshua:
“’6 Days’ is an experimental documentary that examines the consequences of a military conflict that rages over a period of six consecutive days in a virtual game world. Through the lens of both a static and a roaming ground camera, the movie captures both visceral action and a sobering body count.
Based on the game “Call of Duty 4,” the film pays homage to the lives, both military and civilian, lost during the Second War of Fallujah.”
This collaboration stems from the Play Machinima Law conference we held at Stanford in the spring. As far as I know, Joseph and Joshua did not know each other beforehand. [On this point, Joshua just wrote the following in an e-mail message, 5 Aug. 2009: "Yes, the project did originate from the conference. Both meeting Joseph and listening to the concept of preserving data that could be played back in real time. The captured footage came from captured data in multiplayer sessions. It's actually quite an interesting means of creating movies and recording how people interacted in the virtual space. All the data fits into about a 5mb file than came be played back and explored post capture. The demo capture allows you to view players actions and the conversation they had while playing. All in that tiny file."]
This is a pathbreaking example of what I think will become an important creative form: non-fiction machinima. In this sense, as a documentary, it ties in beautifully with our own Preserving Virtual World efforts and the impulses behind it.
Please, if you have reactions to the piece, feel free to submit a review below.
Director: J. Joshua Diltz
Capture: J Joshua Diltz/Ryan Kuecks
Editing: J. Joshua Diltz
Sound design: J. Joshua Diltz
Additional Art: Kyle Patterson
The movie "6 Days" is very bold and daring for two reasons. Number on: it doesn't play to gamers. What can be perceived as action ends up flipping over to reveal bitter heartache.
I found myself questioning my own state of mind while playing MMO games with real persons on the other end of fiber optic cable. Life does end as quickly as a blink of an eye or a twitch of trigger finger. Our existence, all that we are, is as fragile at the data code that crafts our online avatars.
Number two: The movie can be viewed as stance against government politics abroad by speaking directly to the young men and women end up carrying the burden of these conflicts in language that they understand. The message to them is simple. This is your life. You fight the wars now and will so in the future.
Know that the passing of a soldier on the battlefield could be you one day, or someone you knew and loved. Life is not a 20 second new bite. The soldiers (on either side) that have died in conflicts abroad do not respawn. They live now only in the memories of their families. The lessons the have taught us and all that they have given up for us should not be forgotten. Their deaths can not be boxed up and shelved away like a dvd-rom. They have become part of our history.
I was inspired by this movie and hope to see more machinima with powerful messages and startling realizations such as this in the future.
The genre has taken a mature turn. I hope this continues.